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Jan. 31, 2014
Halifax Community College makes short list in two categories for AACC Awards of Excellence
WELDON, N.C. – The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) is putting the extraordinary—often visionary—work of two-year colleges in the national spotlight with its second annual Awards of Excellence.

Twenty-four community colleges have been named finalists in the program designed to recognize innovation and promising practices among two-year colleges. Halifax Community College (HCC) has made the short list of finalists in two categories including faculty innovation and exemplary CEO/board.

The awards program is tied to the key recommendations of AACC’s 21-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, a national, blue-ribbon group of education experts. The Awards of Excellence finalists have put those recommendations into action and have made differences in the lives of the students on campus and the members of their community.

"These finalists are taking risks and forging the path to reimagining our institutions," said AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus. "Through the Awards of Excellence, we’re able to hold up their bold innovations as models that will benefit all community colleges."

Awards will be given in six categories: emerging leadership, student success, faculty innovation (new this year), exemplary CEO/board, advancing diversity and outstanding college/corporate partnership. The winner in each category will be announced April 7 during the Awards of Excellence Gala Dinner at the AACC Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.

Faculty Innovation
HCC Mathematics Instructor John Bennett is nominated for the faculty innovation award. Math often serves as a gatekeeper course for many college students. Efforts to increase student engagement, retention and overall success have been at the forefront of technological initiatives started by this nominee. Bennett established a web-based model that incorporates the use of the Google calendar, along with the appointment application, that allows students to use technology to schedule appointments for tutoring and advisement. This has increased student access and success. Prior to its use, students passing developmental math courses with a “C” or better were below 75 percent. Now, they are above 77 percent, which exceeds the state’s performance standard. Bennett also teaches statistics and uses Google applications, including Google chat and Google voice, to promote student interaction and engagement.

Exemplary CEO/Board
HCC President/CEO Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. is nominated for the exemplary CEO/board award. He is the fourth president, the first African-American president, and one of only four African-American presidents in North Carolina’s community college system. He is a veteran college educator with more than 30 years of experience and training in higher education management. In spite of many challenges, Griffin has raised the College’s quality indicators. In 2013, HCC was ranked 12th among the top 50 community colleges in the nation by Washington Monthly. This represents a 13-point jump from 2010’s 25th place ranking. Victory Media, a premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, named HCC to its coveted Military Friendly Schools® list for 2014. HCC was also ranked in the top 10 community colleges in the nation in e.Republic’s Center for Digital Education survey (Small Colleges Category—Less Than 5,000 Students), earning a sixth place finish. This was the third year that the College placed in the top 10 in the category.

Visit http://www.aacc.nche.edu/Pages/default.aspx for more details on the AACC.
HCC Mathematics Instructor John Bennett
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HCC President/CEO Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr.
Halifax Community College’s Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Primary Media Contact: Melanie Temple, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, mtemple295@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319

Secondary Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., dbarnes-rhoades128@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239